October 04, 2011
It’s time to get your game on, writers—Nanowrimo approaches.
Just a few weeks from now, National Novel Writing Month will begin again, urging all of us crazy writers (and wannabe writers) to create 50,000 gleaming new words of fiction during the month of November.
This time, during the start of October, is perfect for beginning your research. Think about what kind of book you want to write, and find some resources that you can use during this month so that November remains free for sheer acts of creation. Consider what kind of story you want to write— Love story? Adventure? Farce?—and pick some novels to read that feature that type of story. For example, one year I wanted to write about kids on a quest through the wilderness, so I read The Odyssey and Jurassic Park. Have some fun with it.
You’ll also want to look into some non-fiction kinds of research. If you’re thinking of writing a story about a vacation in Bermuda that goes horribly wrong, page through some travel guides to find out the hotspots your characters are likely to visit. Do the Crystal Caves on the road to Hamilton Parish look particularly dangerous? Send your characters there. Or, if you want to write a novel reminiscent of a James Bond or Indiana Jones adventure, check out some of the books we have about the movies. They will give you a flavor for those particular types of stories. And of course, if your novel is set in a different time period, say Shakespearean England, then it's time to watch some Hamlet.
I also recommend Dungeons and Dragons books. I know, I know, they make you think of dark basements and gamer funk, but D & D guides are great for suggesting things like physical obstacles, personal appearances, methods of time travel, and more.
Above all, start to realize that November is coming—that great open adventure in literary abandon. Update your status at Nanowrimo.org, and start feeding your imagination.